Friday, October 29, 2010

Farmers Market Day and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

The farmers market is one of my favorite places in the whole world, and we have a particularly good one here in Trenton. I get giddy with excitement every time I go. Even though I go every week. In fact, I often have to restrain myself from going more than once a week. We can only eat so many vegetables in seven days.

This season is particularly exciting because most of my favorite vegetables are out in full force: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, winter squash. Here's a look at this week's haul:
Some truly fine vegetables there. The cauliflower is bigger than my head. Hiding in the middle is the tiniest spaghetti squash I'd ever seen (which was my dinner tonight, since Jeff's not home). There's a lovely assortment of apples and cider from Terhune Orchards, my personal fav. And yes, on the left are some Brussels sprouts on the stalk! This is the first time I've gotten them this way. Most of them are tiny, but I'm expecting them to be deliciously tender. But that's for Sunday dinner . . .

My topic today is the pumpkin seeds I just roasted. These were also of farmers market origin - Jeff and I picked up some large carving pumpkins a week or so ago. This was actually our second go at pumpkin carving this year. Our first attempt was a few weeks ago. (Yeah, we jumped the gun a bit, but we were excited!) After a paltry four days, both pumpkins were filled with mold. I guess carving three weeks before Halloween and displaying your pumpkins in full sunlight in a 68 degree living room is a bad idea. So now I know.
So last night was our second attempt. That means it was also the second go-around for pumpkin seeds! And these pumpkins produced a ton. So many that the recipe I used was a bit inadequate. The seasonings definitely needed to be doubled. They also took forever to roast, since I overloaded one pan instead of spreading them out evenly in two. That meant that after fifteen minutes of unsuccessful roasting, I had to remove half and do them in smaller batches. This worked fine, in about the amount of time the recipe suggested. Despite these setbacks, they're still pretty tasty. So tasty, in fact, that I should put this bowl a bit farther from me . . .

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Adapted from the savory recipe here.

pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt (to taste)

When carving your pumpkin, the seeds should be separated from the flesh and put in a colander. Wash them well to get any remaining fleshy bits off. Let air dry for 30 minutes or so (this time I left mine overnight, since we finished carving late). If they're still a bit wet, spread them out onto paper towels to finish drying (the annoying part is getting them off - they will want to stick to the paper towels a bit).

Preheat oven to 275°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Combine the seeds with butter and seasonings and stir thoroughly to combine. Spread them out evenly on the baking sheet.

Roast the seeds 10-20 minutes until golden brown. Watch them carefully, stirring every 5 minutes. (Like I said above, mine took much longer because I overloaded the pan. Make sure they're spread in a single layer for optimal roasting.)

When they're done you can adjust the seasoning if necessary. I would say this recipe suits the seeds from one large pumpkin. Since I used the seeds from two, the seasoning was a bit on the light side.

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